A Guide to Post-Industrial Detroit: Unconventional Tours of an Urban Landscape

by Theresa Welsh

Publisher: Theresa Welsh

Publication Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 9781311739148

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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The city of Detroit, Michigan has become a magnet for “urban explorers,” people who like to roam around the ruins of formerly occupied urban areas. Motivations vary: curiosity; desire to photograph urban decay; for graffiti artists, an ideal environment for their art; and, for vandals, lots of buildings to strip of their metals and anything of value.

This book, with 200 photos, is about exploring Detroit, its beautiful architecture, its splendid ruins and its abandoned neighborhoods. The author takes you inside the graffiti-filled walls of abandoned factories and empty homes, with directions for readers who might want to do some urban exploring.

Detroit’s abandoned neighborhood problem is compounded by the fact that it is a physically large city, covering 143 square miles. Whole sections are now unoccupied, just vacant fields and rotting buildings, sidewalks and streets cracked and filled with weeds, trash and old tires that seem to be dumped everywhere. Over the last 50 years, the city has lost most of its industrial base, and nearly two-thirds of its population.

Detroit Is one of America’s oldest cities, founded in 1701 by French explorers. Its population peaked in the 1950s, following waves of immigrants from Europe and migrations of people from the South. Over decades of growth and prosperity, the city became home to magnificent buildings, splendid churches, and massive factories. Woodward Avenue, the main street in Detroit, is so full of beautiful, historic and architecturally significant buildings that it is the ONLY urban highway in the US to be officially designated a “Scenic Byway.”

Detroit is unique in both its store of beautiful buildings (whether still in use or abandoned) and the extent of its population loss. While it offers visitors wonderful tourist-type attractions, but the more adventurous visitor can observe an incredible phenomenon, urban abandonment and decay. Observe, explore and photograph old buildings, empty ...